Tags: art, curatorial, eye_spy, museums in the news, pinterest, technology, tumblr, web2.0
I run across a lot of fun stuff surfing the wilds of the internet, much of which I stash away to share with you here in an eventual Brain Popcorn post. Sometimes it’s from an article on my reader (and blessings on the day I decided to invest in upkeeping my RSS feeds, or I’d miss so much cool and wacky content!), and sometimes it’s a neat link on Twitter, but recently there’s been a fair amount of it on tumblr and Pinterest. I initially resisted both sites because I need more ways to fritter away time on the internet like I need a ten-ton elephant standing on my head, but between a few influential articles and blog posts from people I admire, not to mention a few sessions at the recent National Art Educators Association conference in NYC, I decided to jump straight in.
Museums on Pinterest
If you search Pinterest users for ‘museum’ you get a fairly large number of results, which I initially found surprising, especially the heavy concentration of children’s museums, though in a lot of ways the art museums are a perfect fit. I haven’t looked at all their boards, but here are a few folks doing interesting things on Pinterest:
SFMOMA – Thematic collections of elements of their collection, and one cool and self-referential board that highlights where they turn up in the press.
Metropolitan Museum of Art – More thematic collections, and I’m particularly fond of the way they used a quote in the description section of their ‘cat’ board. (also a great resource to get to other cool museum boards: check out the list of who the Met’s following! I’m particularly keen to see what ends up on the crowdsourced Future of Museums board.)
Met Teens – The museum’s teen advisory group runs this set of boards, which they use to highlight student work (both written and visual) especially in response to museum collections, draw correlations between historical fashions and modern, and advertise upcoming teen-focused events at the museum. Very cool!
Not convinced? Right before I was putting this post out into the world, fellow museum enthusiast Colleen Dilenschneider over on Know Your Own Bone wrote a fantastically well-researched set of arguments about why Pinterest is a useful investment for the extended museum community: 5 Reasons for Museums to get on Pinterest right now.
Museums on Tumblr
This is a bit more of a stretch: I don’t actually find Tumblr to be as easy a site to navigate or search. Simply tracking the ‘museum’ tag gets you interesting photos from people’s vacations, but locating specific museum projects on Tumblr is harder.
Eye Spy: Fake or Real? – This was actually the project that introduced me to Tumblr, which was a game we designed to go with our “Playing with Perception” show at PEM last year. I really liked the format that our team put together, and I haven’t seen any similar game-style Tumblr projects out there. (But I’d love to, so if you know of any, do tell!)
SFMOMA (again) – Their general feed is interesting, but I particularly like their ArtGameLab tag, where they share visitor photos etc. from their visitor-designed game projects accessible online and in the galleries.
Have you run across any cool organizational projects on Tumblr or Pinterest? Share them here!
Or, of course, you could just come find me there! (fair warning, what you see there is often what happens in my brain before it makes it into a coherent Popcorn post)
Tags: art, history, holiday, reading, technology, travel
We set up the HO trains under the family Christmas tree this weekend, which is always fun and knocks about twenty years off my apparent age. It’s amazing how enduring a fascination trains can hold, whether they’re models or massive machines, still or belching smoke and whistling like a time machine. Trains even make good bait for getting a small child through an art museum (those luminists and Hudson River types often had creeping inroads of steam power in their paintings, after all, and you can enjoy the brushwork and color while the kiddo bounces around looking for train tunnels).
So it was with great delight that I discovered OurStory, a website hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The site is a family- and teacher- friendly resource for approaching history from the ‘story’ angle. There is a searchable booklist, a great thematic list of activities to do at school or home, and one of their current features on the homepage is a downloadable packet of ideas and activities to explore the world of trains in your own backyard, from the local train station to the nearest rail museum. (And even more book suggestions and activities on the thematic ‘trains’ page.)
The NMAH has, of course, an impressive transportation collection of its own, but I love the fact that they’ve created resources which reflect the geographically wide-spread nature of visitors to a website. “Can’t get to the NMAH? Here’s how to find cool similar stuff near you.” Fabulous. Site specific materials can be fantastic, but accessibility is key.
Tags: earth science, food, humor, math, music, physics, sport, technology, travel, video/animation
*waves* Hello All! I have returned from my trip to Italy and essentially recovered from the Italian cold I brought back with me, and I’m back on track to keep bringing you fresh Brain Popcorn. Today’s post celebrates unusual music.
Music is a great interdisciplinary doorway. Though I ran as far as possible from the calculations necessary for the ‘physics of music’ class they offered in undergrad, the fact remains that music and physics *are* closely linked, and so are music and art, music and history, music and literature, music and myth, music and….you get the refrain. Today we’re going to focus on a few science connections.
Gravity Makes Music!
Gravité from Renaud Hallée: check out some very cleverly edited percussion work with falling tennis balls, forks and knives, televisions, basketballs, and light sticks. It reminds me a lot of the number “Trashing the Camp” by Phil Collins, from Disney’s Tarzan. (Thanks to Rob over on Politics et Alia Sensae for the heads up!)
For a slightly more complicated set of interactions (with some entertaining moments and some real physics –there’s a Newton’s Cradle in there!) check out the Rube-Goldberg-inspired “This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go. Once you’ve watched it once and have stopped laughing, go again and keep your eyes out for levers, weights and counterweights, wedges, and a number of other simple machines.
Vegetables as instruments?
Well, it beats eating them… If you missed my earlier link to the ViennaVegetable Orchestra, here it is. This is a great way to talk about materials engineering (what qualities are they looking for when they pick their vegetables? How do they change those materials to get the sound they want?), and also just to discuss the ways people make noise (beating, blowing through a tube or over a tube, plucking, shaking…how do these veggie instruments resemble or differ from what a regular orchestra/band/jam session uses?).
Did you know? The palm cockatoo is known to beat hollow logs with sticks to make loud drumming sounds. ~courtesy of @AMNH, the American Museum of Natural History’s Twitter feed
Animal Music–apparently not confined to cetaceans and songbirds! (Does anybody else have the lines from Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb running through their heads yet? “Many more monkeys drumming on drums! Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum!”)
Three years/2500 attempts = 37 formations/5 octaves = The Stalacpipe Organ. There are so many cool paths you can take from here, looking at caves and earth science, spelunking, Virginia history, invention of musical instruments, more math and physics of sound, inspiration for creating your own tube-length-instruments. Or just check out the site for Luray Caverns and play the audio clip.
And finally, for sheer amusement value, “Flight of the Bumblebee” played on an iPad. Is this cheating? Having played this piece on the flute, I’m going to say yes. If you’re not out of breath by the end, it doesn’t count.